Darlene Marie Fischette
Darlene Marie (Groat) Fischette formerly of Hilton, NY, passed away at Signature Health at College Park in Fort Myers on January 2, 2020.
Darlene was born in Lyons, NY, on February 21, 1946, to Russell and Anna (Buttaccio) Groat. She was raised in Clyde, NY, which provided a near idyllic existence so often associated with small town life.
From the beginning, she proved to be intelligent, spunky, and strong-willed, (some might even say she was a bit stubborn) qualities that remained with her throughout life. Along with her independent spirit was a kind heart punctuated by a warm smile and gleaming green eyes.
After graduating from Clyde Central School in 1963 and working brief stints for Jackson & Perkins and Parker Hannifin Corp., Darlene began her long-term employment with Kodak in Rochester, NY. She held several positions at Kodak, but no matter what the job, she did it earnestly. She was well-liked and respected by her co-workers. Darlene made a point of calling everyone by name and wore a constant smile. As a result, she gained the nickname “Smiley”.
Darlene married the love of her life, Jim Fischette, on June 13, 1970, at St. John’s Church in Clyde, NY. Thus, began a 49-year marriage full of laughter, love and lots of entertaining. Darlene and Jim built a home in Hilton, NY, which included an in-ground swimming pool. Countless gatherings were held at their home where family members, including nieces and nephews, enjoyed scores of summer days.
Darlene and Jim lived in Hilton for many years until retiring and moving to sunshine and snowless roads in Fort Myers, Florida. They purchased a home in the lovely Gulf Harbour community. Retirement and all that it offered was a well-deserved reward for Darlene’s decades of hard work. She loved living in Florida. Among the highlights of retired life included traveling to Europe as well as destinations within the United States. Darlene made a multitude of friends and had an active social life. Her gracious hosting, inviting personality, and sympathetic listening drew others to her.
True to her nature, Darlene, along with her husband Jim, was one of the originators of the Gulf Habour Memorial Foundation. The foundation sponsored fund-raising activities which gave financial support to various causes in both the Fort Myers area and areas around the country. Darlene gave her all to this important undertaking. Likewise, Darlene and Jim were co-founding members of the Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club, a club they enjoyed for many years.
Also during her life in Fort Myers, Darlene launched an unexpected endeavor: providing pet services to residents of Gulf Habour. She looked after numerous pets, and the residents of Gulf Harbor became accustomed to seeing Darlene walk her dog friends along the streets. She loved this job and loved the animals that were in her care. These little friends, as well as their owners, created fond memories for Darlene.
Darlene, Dean or Deanie as she was affectionately known by her family and close friends, was unassuming, practical, and selfless. She will be remembered by all those who loved her for her heartening laughter, that sweet smile and her generosity to family and friends, especially through the multitude of gatherings and holidays hosted at her home. For Darlene, it was always about making her family and friends comfortable and happy. Although she had no children, she took care of others, especially her family, with a motherly spirit. She especially loved her nieces and nephews and they surely loved their aunt Darlene.
No doubt, she will be cheering from afar for her beloved Buffalo Bills, Syracuse University’s basketball team, and her favorite basketball conference, the Big East.
Darlene is survived by her loving, devoted husband, James Fischette; her brother, Steven (Kathy) Groat; sisters, Linda (David) Frank, Pamela (Bob) Iocco, Marybeth Tyler; brothers-in-law, Jack (Sandy) Fischette, Frank (Donna) Fischette, Jerry (Donna Fischette Robbins-deceased) Robbins; many nieces and nephews; numerous cousins; and too many friends to count.
Jim extends his deepest gratitude to the staff at Hope House and Signature Health for the outstanding care that Darlene received.
A Memorial Mass will be held 11:00 AM Friday, January 24, 2020 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church, 12171 Iona Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
A Celebration of Darlene’s life will be held in her hometown of Clyde, NY, later in the year.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to Hope Hospice, 9470 Healthpark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.